Santa Rosa ISD police dept. cut, teacher jobs at risk

The superintendent at Santa Rosa ISD held a closed door meeting at the high school library for 14 teachers whose jobs are on the line.

They learned for the first time how the state education budget crisis may impact their future in the district.

Superintendent Heriberto Villarreal met with Action 4 News just before he held that meeting.

"There are some bills being passed...We do have some numbers from the Senate and the House... So there could be some potential cuts," he said.

The school board has already approved the first 5 percent in cuts.

The district's 3-person police force will no longer exist after this school year, according to the superintendent.

Ryan: "Do you feel that without law enforcement presence on the campuses... Security is at risk?"

Heriberto: "No, because we're going to work very closely with the city."

He said personnel will slide into the role of security guards.

Its unclear how many guards will be needed.

Villarreal projected a potential 1.1 million dollar shortfall in the budget.

He said other programs have been cut in advance of any news out of Austin.

"Academic programs... Such as UIL... We've looked at some of our travel... and cut down on travel," he said.

Grant funds will still be used for travel.

The exact impact on students won't likely be known until around June, as estimates from the State paint a clearer picture, according to Villarreal.

He said Thursday's meeting with only first year teachers, who were either new to the profession or with the district, was to be as transparent as possible about their fate.

John Merino is a science teacher.

"At least this time I have my college education... I'm a science major... I'm ready for what's ahead."

Margarito Pompa teaches math and coach's varsity baseball.

"It's very unfortunate event man... I mean what can I say... You have this American dream... You want to go to school and finally realize what you want to do... It's just the cards that are dealt I guess."

And while both teachers appreciated the warning in advance, the potential for unemployment is enough to knock the "warrior" spirit out of anyone.